shawn's blog

Midnight

Posted in Music, Tone Def by Shawn on March 28, 2012

So, I finally have my midi controller, and I can work on making music a bit faster now. By faster, I mean that I can create something faster, then throw it out earlier, instead of take much longer to create a piece, only to find out that I didn’t like it 4 hours later.

Regardless, I have a new piece, called “Midnight”.

The song is designed to be looped, as are most songs composed for Tone Def.

That’s it for now though. I just wanted to share this others!

Tagged with: , ,

Comments Off on Midnight

Planning for the next month

Posted in Music, OriGamInc, Other, Tone Def, Unity by Shawn on March 19, 2012

So, my laptop’s screen is definitely broken. Pretty good timing too, I guess. The last time I had laptop issues, the deadline to the IGF was quickly approaching. I was out a laptop for a good week, which meant I couldn’t do a lot of programming.

This time, the deadline for IndieCade┬áis coming. What are the plans for IndieCade? Well, I hope to submit two games, Mr. Condyle’s Escape and Tone Def. So, the problem is, I have two games to work on, can’t work on them full time, and have no laptop. Still, that doesn’t mean that I can’t do other things, in regards to planning, designing, organizing and more. After I get my laptop back, I do plan to, as they say, ‘kick it in high gear’, I think. That means I’ll have a lot more content to share, on the design front, as well as other aspects.

By mid next week, I hope to be in full swing with my music production. In the mail, coming my way, is a new Midi Controller that I plan to use with Reason, my current DAW. Rather, I should say ‘first’ Midi Controller. All of my work with Reason has been me using my mouse and keyboard. That doesn’t mean that I’ve haven’t been able to make music that I’m unhappy with. All it means is that I should be able to make music faster, which I’m looking forward to. Hopefully, later on this week, or early next week, I should have some new musical pieces that I can share via the blog/soundcloud. For now, I’m going to continue working on a cheaper borrowed, non midi keyboard, to help me get ideas out of my head. Also, I purchased the sheet music book for various Legend of Zelda Songs.

In terms of designing, there’s a lot that still needs to be done. The part that does make me a bit upset is that I can design some things, and put them into my game, then update them based on how they appear in game. I’ll have to do some waiting before I can see my ideas and plans in production. Each time I get a free chance, I muck about in my Redmine, doing a lot of organizing. The way I work is in 2-week iterations. I assign myself a number of task that I think I’ll be able to complete within the two week timeline. More often than not, I bite off more than I can chew, which is okay for now, since I’m my own boss. But, setting these goals and iteration time periods help me keep track of what I’m doing, how long it takes for me to accomplish a task, and helps me form a nice timeline of production. It also helps me figure out where something went wrong, and who to blame it on (I can only blame it on myself….).

In terms of actual planning, I have outlined what’s needed for Tone Def, thing the player will actually see. More instruments, more instrument effects, and new level types. Also, interesting light shows (more on that in a future post, hopefully). There’s more work behind the scenes that need to be done also. I recently starting to make more and more custom editors, and there are a few other thing that would work better for me if I had a few custom inspectors in this Unity project. Such as the aforementioned light show. I’ve been thinking about going into some detail regarding some of the editor scripting. I’m still on the fence about it, since most of the time I start writing a blog update, I delete it. This is actually the third time I’ve tried to write this particular one.

But that’s it for now, before I go ahead a delete this one. I’m hoping to move at a better pace, and have something good before the IndieCade submission date. I’ve gotten some feedback from others regarding Tone Def, and it seems like other people don’t think it’s terrible!

Comments Off on Planning for the next month

Game Jam Weekend

Posted in Other, Tone Def, Unity by Shawn on January 27, 2012

So that fancy Global Game Jam is today until some time on Sunday. I’m most likely going, and will try to do my best to be useful to someone this time. Last year, I wound up floating around quite a bit for the weekend, making some music here and there, then making an awkward game on the last day. This also means that I’ll need to put Tone Def on the side this weekend, and focus on what ever I wind up working on. Knowing me, I’ll still bounce around a lot this year. Last years theme was extinction; I hope to see something much more quirky this year. Something like donuts or hubcaps.

I’ve also finally downloaded the Unity 3.5 beta, and have upgraded Tone Def to this version. The first version of the 3.5 beta was too troublesome for me, and one of the main reasons I was looking to get into it was for the “Flash in a Flash” contest. Exporting to flash was a pain for me, and there are a number of things that I just can’t do for Tone Def & Flash, without major overhauls. Basically, since coroutines cannot be used for Flash exports, and I use them all over the place, a lot would have to be rewritten. I’m actually pretty sure that only two scripts have an Update() of some kind, not counting the scripts that extend from extend from a specific class.

One very nice thing about 3.5 is version control for basic license users. I have to admit that I was using the free version of Unity, and using Git for everything. Everything. And for the most part, it worked. I was able to push my repo online without problems. I could even ‘git reset –hard’ to blow away changes, or revert to an earlier version of the project. Git -dfx worked as well, and actually help me downgrade a project that I didn’t mean to upgrade. So, yay Git?

Back to Tone Def….I really wanted to push for a February 1st release date, but with the Game Jam this weekend, this does not seem like a possibility. I may need to push back to the 6th, since that should give me an entire weekend to lock myself somewhere and only work on the game until it makes me smile on the inside and out. Whatever that means.

But that’s it for now. Here’s to good jamming for everyone participating in this year’s game jam, and to those who have already started!

Comments Off on Game Jam Weekend

A minor Tone Def Update

Posted in OriGamInc, Tone Def by Shawn on December 28, 2011
(That’s not a musical pun)

Well, Tone Def is moving along.

A few days ago, I tagged a version as v0.015. I don’t really know where that number came from, but I need to both start tagging more, and making sense of these tags. Since then, the Game Over/Level Victory screens have been added, as well as implementing a rash of Kongregate API, as I want to track and report stats. Looking at the git history, this pretty much all I worked in the past couple of days, which actually falls in line with my whiteboard. (I don’t have a picture of it right now!).

A good portion of time was spent on the API, which is actually really easy to integrate. The more time consuming issue was the naming. For Tone Def, I’m tracking a few things, such as the number of SquareBots destroyed, the number of instruments used/destroyed, notes spend, etc. I do want to have some sort of achievement system however, which is why I spent a good time creating a list of achievements unlocked after doing something ‘x’ times, such as using 10 instruments, or beating particular level.

One more small list needs to be made, in regards to the essentials. I need to make sure not to fall into some sort of feature creep trap, but unfortunately, things like that are inevitable, as ideas originally conceived need to be fleshed out a bit more.

But that’s it for now. Again, I hope to have this done by next week, which means minor updates until now. And maybe I’ll try and be cool, and post a postmortem or something, even though I’m not dropping support of the game at all. Actually, it’s probably too early for that.

Tagged with: , , ,

Comments Off on A minor Tone Def Update